As a lifelong learner and someone who earned a Ph.D., I understand many things about being a thinker, of leaning into “I think; therefore I am.”-Rene Descartes. Yet, embodiment offers benefits for the imagination, rest, and play.
Although there are several fancy definitions of embodiment, I see this as experiencing the body, safe and secure. I am feeling the cozy socks on my warm feet; sensing the gentle movement of my torso expanding, contracting, breathing; touching the cold keys on my laptop with my fingertips; noticing the vibrant, colorful leaves in my peripheral vision; and inhaling the scent of hazelnut decaf coffee in my rainbow striped mug. I continue to take my body for runs around the lake, bicycle on the curvy mountain roads, dance in my office, and say, “I am!”
The fearsome scolding voices in my head are less in charge of my life choices and actions. Looking back on my life transformations so far, I rarely engaged deeds that followed the directions of my blathering inner critic. I became better and better at listening to my body’s wisdom and the yearnings of my heart. My heart and body eventually knew what they needed to do and did brave actions. Those actions became courageous because they often defied the voices in my head, or the fierce directives of often well-meaning people or sometimes angry, jealous, unkind people.
Shifting from a focus almost solely on the thoughts in my head to the sensations in my body became a life-changing, life-enhancing transformational practice. “Feel your feet,” entered my world like some of the sagest guidance ever. A gifted therapist offered this alternative place to go to create some distance from my overthinking, analysis-paralysis bobblehead. How wonderful to freshly discover I had feet that would take my body places she had not gone—which included cruise ships, cross-country meets, and courtrooms.
I realized listening to my mind almost exclusively often took me far away from the experience of wondrous, sensory moments. Giving attention to noisy, frantic voices in my head, I missed experiences of awe-inspiring life. Living more moments embodied, I can richly savor experiences and integrate these scenes of “Laura’s Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life.”
When you focus solely on your inner critic and/or inner cheerleader, you hardly have time to listen to your body or anyone else in your life. The voices in your head can consume most of your daily life. You struggle to be present, listen to songs on Spotify or a podcast, and/or navigate your way through conversations with other people. You give your busy mind way too much say in how you experience being alive on the planet.
I understand because I have done this with a gazillion moments of my life. I used to believe my buzzy, crunchy, racing thoughts could keep me alive, protect me from rejection, or get me first-class tickets on a plane.
Scary thoughts do not keep you alive or deliver a lovable, trained dog to your doorstep; they only scare you.
Pausing for wise guidance from your body/being/soul, then engaging in Love-inspired action keeps you alive, creative, and thriving.
Your actions done with a loving heart and brave body can alter the trajectory of your life and your experience of being alive. Can you take a moment to feel your feet, listen to your heart’s yearnings and then go where they want to take you? Your body holds ancient wisdom, even treasures, and maybe your bobblehead can travel for a much-needed vacation on a warm sunny beach or a desert island. May you live comfy in your own body vessel, healthy, fulfilled, and wise in this earth home for your soul.
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately supports people thriving by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, and life. Laura is the published author of four books including Live Inspired which reveals the brave and deep work of self-discovery and her new book of short writings and poetry Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free where with her characteristic grace and candor, Laura shares thoughtful-sometimes comical reflections on healing, loving and living free as inspirational pathways for experiencing a soul-centered, fulfilled life.